The Rematch

NFC Game Of The Week

Green Bay Packers (3-1) at Dallas Cowboys (2-2)

Packers: They sit at 3-1 right now with an absolute abundance of injuries. They’ve been without both starting offensive tackles David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and right tackle Bryan Bulaga (ankle) and having those starters up front can definitely make all the difference. The running back situation is thin right now. Ty Montgomery broke his ribs and the rookie Jamaal Williams also got injured in the game against the Bears in week four. Then, there was the scary hit on Davante Adams, but he’s resting and probably will play again in a few weeks. This is when other guys really need to step it up. Once again, one side of the football is stronger than the other with Green Bay and by now, I think you know what I’m talking about. The offense once again is carrying the entire team on its shoulders. After week one, I thought we were seeing a change of things with their defense, then weeks two and three gave me a dose of reality once again, but they’re injured on that side of the football too so I’ll lay off of them for the time being. The offense is simply carrying the team as you’d expect them too. Green Bay is averaging 25.5 points per game which ranks 8th in the NFL. They are averaging 74.5 yards rushing per game which ranks 28th in the NFL. They are averaging 260.7 yards passing per game which ranks 10th in the NFL. What’s been the issue with their defense? That’s been the question for years now. They play way too much zone coverage and when you drop back too many yards, there’s a soft spot for a receiver to sit there and patiently wait for the ball to be thrown to him. They also have a problem defending elite receivers in press coverage across the board. There’s nothing wrong with doubling a guy. A 4-1 start is on the horizon and they’ll have their hands full with Dallas.

Cowboys: When I think their defense has finally got it together, they struggle and let me down and that is exactly what happened last week when they played the Los Angeles Rams. The Cowboys right now are 2-2 through their first four games. They didn’t lose their second game until week 14 during the 2016 season when they fell to the Giants in East Rutherford. Their offense has a much different approach this year. Everything still does go through Ezekiel Elliott and it should because he’s their best offensive player, they’ve allowed Dak Prescott to take more of those shots down the field and pass the football. The Cowboys offense ranks 14th in the league averaging 24 points per game and their rushing attack is ranked 13th in the league which is a shocker, but with teams having a full off-season to really gameplan for Zeke, I could understand why it’s down compared to last year when they were the best rushing team in the NFL. I remember a few weeks ago before they played Denver, I stated that I wanted to see more consistency from their defense especially after what they did in week one to the Giants and I know Odell wasn’t on the field, but it was still impressive to see nonetheless. When DeMarcus Lawrence is on the field, they are a much better unit. He provides that necessary pass rush and when he makes something happen, the entire defense will feed off his enegry. Other than Sean Lee (who’s extremely underrated), Byron Jones has had a nice season for the Cowboys as well. For the first time since January, they will battle the Packers for a week five showdown at JerryWorld.

Packers Player To Watch: Martellus Bennett– He was a big signing for Green Bay this year during the off-season and he’s gotten off to a slow start. I expect him to really step it up and be that third option for Aaron now, especially with Adams sidelined for a few games.

Cowboys Player To Watch: Byron Jones– After everything the Cowboys lost in the secondary during the off-season, he remains and he’s meant everything to that back end. He’s excellent in run defense, can cover a receiver deep down the field, swats the ball away, can get you an interception and he’s able to defend tight ends, which can be difficult to do.

Final Analysis: When the schedules were released and I saw this match up was slated to take place, I immediately circled it on my calendar. This was the best NFL game I saw last year when these two squared off in the playoffs. I expect the Packers to really get Marty B involved early to make an impact along with rookie running back Aaron Jones. If I’m Dallas, the offensive line must play better, especially if the Packers have Mike Daniels coming back. I could watch these two teams play each other each year. They always leave us talking about their epic battles.

Prediction: Packers 31 Cowboys 28